Vermont's dairy giant Cabot says it was asked by the attorney general's office to take the image of the state off its packaging. That was over 10 years ago after Cabot married with AgriMark to get milk from the rest of New England and New York. Cabot says it needed to comply with the Vermont Origin Rule which says 75 percent of the main ingredient must come from Vermont in order to use the state in its marketing. Cabot's butter does not comply.
"It's really something by labeling to allow consumers to know what they're buying, where it was processed and from whom they're buying it," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General.
That's why Cabot Creamery is phasing out all of its labels on all of its products, not just butter, unless it contains 75 percent or more Vermont milk.
Reporter Gina Bullard: And we're just noticing?
Roberta MacDonald/Cabot: Ad you're just noticing! Isn't that wild?
The Green Mountain State was replaced by a green barn representing the Northeast and more of its farmers' ownership.
"Ultimately Cabot hasn't changed. It's a place, a level of quality, but now the logo represents all of our farm families and that makes me thrilled," MacDonald said.
The AG's office says Cabot could have gotten around the labeling law.
"This is Cabot's choice," Sorrell said. "They could have put some other disclosures on their label if they wanted to. It's their choice as a company."
Gina Bullard: That Vermont name has clout to it. Does it hurt to get rid of it?
Roberta MacDonald: Gina, in Texas they're not real sure where Vermont is located.
Cabot says it's got a lock on the Northeast already. And adds that other parts of the country primarily care about price and taste. And it's not banking on the state's name to sell its product.
Despite this label changing, Cabot says there is no risk that they are going to be leaving Vermont. It has a long history here and says it values the state and its farmers.
In a press conference Wednesday, Gov. Peter Shumlin said that Cabot is a Vermont product and it should be proud to have the Vermont label on its products. He think it's unfortunate Cabot is removing the state and thinks Vermont should still appear there, even though-- as we just heard-- this would be against Vermont law unless it also listed the other states where the milk comes from.
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